Recently, I went to Bristol to take part in the ULTRADIAN study. This research project focuses on the development of a new wearable device that in the future could be used for the diagnosis and monitoring of endocrine disorders. It consists of a pump and hormone sample collector (collected from tissue through the semi-permeable membrane surface of a fine tube inserted just below skin on your tummy). This microdialysis technique enables frequent measurement of adrenal hormone levels, especially cortisol. Once fitted up (a quick process), I wore the belt and device and spent the day exploring Bristol. The next morning I returned to the hospital to have it removed.
During the 27-hour period that I was in Bristol, readings were taken every 20 minutes. This will provide a very detailed picture of my cortisol levels over a much longer period than a day curve test can. The incentive for me was that the project team has agreed that participants with Addison’s can be sent their own data from the trial if they request it. This will be a few months after the sample has been sent for analysis in Bergen (another adrenal centre taking part in the study, led by Professor Husebye).
The ULTRADIAN project team is keen to identify more suitable people with Addison’s to take part alongside other volunteers. Participants need to meet the following inclusion criteria:
- Age 18-68
- Autoimmune aetiology with positive adrenal antibodies
- Taking ‘standard’ replacement medication, i.e. not on a pump or any long-acting or modified release corticosteroid preparations
If you are interested in participating, here are some links to further information and contact details:
Study website: www.ultradian.eu
Local (UK) website: https://ultradian.blogs.bristol.ac.uk
Email: email@example.com (contacts: Dr Thomas Upton and Jane Bowles)
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This article was first published in the September 2018 edition of the ADSHG newsletter.